PM Binyamin Netanyahu spoke at an event at the American Enterprise Institute and explained to the audience how the world can beat radical Islam.
Here is the transcript from this part of the interview:
MS. PLETKA: There is, though, a great battle going on between modernity and medievalism in your part of the world. And if you talk about democracy being the idea that made Israel strong and markets and capitalism being the idea that will propel Israel into the 21st century and beyond, there are other ideas at play throughout the region.
And there are a lot of people who suggest that, in fact, one of the things that is animating those terrorist groups that have now risen up throughout the region and are tyrannizing most of the people, many of the people of the Middle East, that they are founded on an idea and that as many drone strikes or air strikes or even ground wars that happen, without having an idea to substitute for theirs we cannot win. You can’t beat something, as one of my colleagues so often says, with nothing.
So what I want to ask you is as the leader of the only truly democratic market economy in the Middle East, what is the idea that is going to beat this? Is it democracy?
MR. NETANYAHU: It’s certainly greater freedom. I think there’s a process in which the Arab world and parts of the Islamic world move toward the idea of greater freedom. It’s not automatic, but it’s certainly a good contrast to the kind of tyranny and savagery that they’re experiencing now. And the brunt of this savagery is afflicted on Muslims right now. Millions have been displaced and hundreds of thousands butchered, so they have a pretty good idea of what they don’t want.
I actually think that sometimes in these kinds of battles, it’s first of all important to win physically – win, fight. I mean, combating Nazism first involved beating Nazism. You know, you had de-Nazification after you won. You have to win. (Applause.) It’s very important not to allow these beasts the freedom to prowl because what they’re doing is they’re emptying parts of the Middle East into Europe. They’re now going to empty Africa. And you have these two human streams feeling misery.
I spoke to Prime Minister Renzi of Italy and to David Cameron, prime minister of Britain, and to Angela Merkel just in the last few weeks. And I said – I don’t want to talk about ISIS. That’s politically loaded. You can ask me privately later.
But I wanted to speak about Boko Haram. I wanted to speak about al-Shabaab. You know, there must be at least 12 probably closer to 20 leaders of African nations who came to Israel just as Asia is coming to Israel and they only want three things from us: Israeli technology, Israeli technology, and Israeli technology.
The African states all come and they say, we want Israeli technology in agriculture, in health care, in irrigation, whatever. And they all come down to one word: security. Help us in security. So I suggest that to some of the European countries a simple partnership. We form consortiums to deal with individual countries, help them with their economy, help them with their security. The Islamist movements in Africa are not yet strong. They can be defeated today. They can be defeated today. It will be a lot harder tomorrow.
And my point is in addition to the battle of ideas, there’s the battle. You have to win the battle. And the earlier you win it, the cheaper it will be. The longer you wait, eventually these forces will dissipate because there is no hope. There is no future for a world of darkness. And I think the Islamists will lose out, but it may take decades. It may take half a century. Nazism was defeated but it claimed the life of millions, tens of millions of people and a third of my people. I think defeating them early is important. We’ll defeat them in the battle of ideas, but let’s defeat them on the ground as well. (Applause.)
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